As a sign of how the franchise’s move to Las Vegas will impact the fan base, one famous superfan is retiring from following the team because he has been priced out.
Wayne Mabry, aka “Violator,” has donned face paint and silver and black attire every week for 28 years in the Coliseum’s Black Hole. But he won’t be taking the show on the road to Las Vegas when the team moves next season.
‘I’m being evicted’
Mabry, 63, said that while he will continue to be a fan, he cannot afford tickets in the shiny new Allegiant Stadium in Vegas.
“I understand the business side of it,” Mabry said to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “But as a fan, I feel like I’m being evicted. I’m still paying the rent, but they’re selling the property.”
Mabry actually lives in Los Angeles and commuted to Oakland on gamedays. But he won’t be making the shorter trip to Las Vegas. The cost of personal seat licenses for Allegiant Stadium range from $500-$7,500, and as of October, 96 percent of them had been sold. Season tickets cost anywhere from $650 to $3,000.
The price of moving
This is the cost for the franchise moving from a community that has been rooted in Oakland since 1995 to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, a city that did not have a professional sports franchise before 2017.
The Raiders’ final game in Oakland did not go well, with the team blowing a lead to the Jacksonville Jaguars and fans coming to grips with their team leaving town. It did not help that team owner Mark Davis shrugged off feeling any nostalgia because he “went through this in ‘82” when the Raiders moved to Los Angeles.
It is doubtful that the $2 billion stadium in Las Vegas will sport a Black Hole that matches the passion of the fans that decked the Coliseum. Sure, the franchise will reap the benefits of playing in Vegas. But longtime fans like “Violator” who helped build the global reputation up to where it is today have been tossed aside.
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